Wednesday, November 27, 2013

Pic dump of things likely only of interest to me but who knows.

 Bluff Creek is ready for skating.
 Ice was so clear in person it looked like we were levitating over the bottom.
 Maya helping me label some coffee bags.   She loves having jobs like this to do.
 Ella's submission for an invention convention at school.   Dog harness/flag to help find your dog in tall grass.
Mazy and I made a pre winter final visit to the tap-able maple trees that I identified last summer.   Mazy had a great time making the Turkeys fly from tree to tree.  About 20 of them were nested down about 40 feet up in the trees and some how thought Mazy was a danger.  I suppose Racoons might be something that could get them up there.  Very cool to see a bunch of giant turkeys flying  over head in the forest.
 When I see trees with light like this I first think of Charles Beck wood cuts and then I think of Jackson Pollock paintings.  It would be interesting to do a painting in a Pollock like pouring/dripping style to mimic the mess of overlapping trees.  Maybe five, maybe 10 or more layers of trees starting with the back ones and overlapping towards the front.

 Got to see the new HED Carbon rim's at Trail Head in Champlin and again at the Angry catfish.  They are light and stupid expensive.  Don't seem very refined at all.  No lip on the rim is interesting.  
 Ella is a very good pretend Vet.  Googly eye transplant on the deer and she fabricated a new ear for the little dog and then implanted it.  Mazy's stuffed animal attacks are keeping her in business.
 Back yard camping in the cold with Ella.  Not sure who was more excited.

Monday, November 04, 2013

Fat Bike Packing to Gifford Lake

Heath and I rode along the Minnesota River south west of Chaska from my house last weekend.  Goal was an easy ride to an easy over night camping experience at some random spot along the trail from Chaska to Belle Plaine.  

 We did not go very far since night was coming fast.  A wrong turn was a good time to take a pic.

 On front is a Revelate sling with a dry bag that held my tent, sleeping bag and poncho/tarp.  I also tried out a Revelate feed bag this trip in place of the gas tank bag.

We took lights but got to the random place we camped before dark.  In the future I want to go to here to camp.

 I made a berbere pine nut vermicelli and olive oil dish that tuned out great.   I definitely need to do this again.  It had big flavor a small carrying size and a lot of good calories.  Toasting the pine nuts, berbere and a little salt over the fire added a great smoky fresh toasted dimension to the dish.

 Heath used his Nemo bivy tenty thing.  I think the bright color makes it look less like a body bag.
 I used a Surly junk strap to tie the MLD duomid to a tree branch so I would not need a pole inside.   I am really loving the no floor tent design.  It is easier to manage dirty shoes and potentially wet objects inside the tent and you get one more level of being connected with the outdoors.

 If you click the pic below to enlarge it you can kind of see that Heath has added another stem and bar to his bike to work like my handle bare bag holding sling setup.  He strapped a dry bag to the extra bar and stem which prevents it from interfering with the bar you hang onto.  I think it works as good or better than my more costly set up and it looks so good I didn't notice he had an extra stem until he pointed it out.  Only down side is that it would be harder to take off if you did not want the extra stem on between camp trips.

Friday, November 01, 2013

Halloween, kale, new phone and watch, winter camp excitement

Susan had a Halloween party for the Maya age kids in the neighborhood this year the weekend before the big candy grab on the actual Halloween day.   Ella had a bigger kid party of her own to go to that same day and was very sad to miss ours.
   Ella said that she is a "goth witch."  I don't know how she know the word goth.
 Maya is a witch with very cute sheep boots.  This fits my costume rule that the girls costumes should be a little bit scary and a little bit cute.
 Maya with her friend Kirsten (turtle) Taylor (ninja) and Ava (cheerleader) at the party.  I didn't actually take any photos on Halloween night for some reason.
 Maya ran a tattoo booth at the party.  Millie is helping Maya get one of her own.
 In other news my Kale plant continues to amaze me.  I have taken all the leaves off and eaten them maybe 5 times.  Each time I am convince it is done producing for the season.  Learning how to make kale chips has increased my kale intake a lot.
 I got the Samsung Note 3 phone and Galaxy Gear watch a few weeks ago.  Like them both a lot.  Unexpected benefit of having them both is my battery life is amazing.  Seeing the time of day, weather, my texts, email and phone calls on the watch prevents a ton of phone battery use.  Also its way more convenient.  Of all the great things a smart phone is and of all the devices it replaces the last thing a smart phone needed to be for me was scratch paper.  A way to make a super fast little note.  Guess what the Note 3 with its stylus does really well?   Take a quick note.  You can even leave the little notes spread around over the top of your other app icons in a messy way if you like just like a real desk.  Used the watch to take the above pic.  It is of my little alcohol super cat stove heating water for tea.  Heath and I have started to stop mid fat bike ride to have tea.  Very pleasant.
 This is the tree I made all my maple syrup from last year.  Big sweetie is her name.
 Maya, Mazy and I had dinner out in the woods after scouting more maples for next spring.
 House.  Fog.
 I am getting really excited to do some snow shoe/ski/fatbike winter camping this year.  After doing my best to replicate all my winter gear in the backpack (minus the water) the pack with snow shoes attached as in the pic was still only 29 pounds.  The gigantic -40 Western Mountaineering sleeping bag takes up half the pack. Western Mountaineering is making me a custom expander for the bag so I will fit more comfortably in it.  It was to arrive this week.  Unfortunately there was some mix up and a summer weight not the custom -40 expander was sent so I need to either wait or get smaller so I don't need the expander.